[Review] Gaia Flow Single Malt Whisky Shizuoka Prologue K

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Shizuoka Distillery

On December 19, 2020, Gaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery will release a fully-fledged version of this product.
The Karuizawa whisky distillery, once owned by Mercian, was regrettably closed in November 2011.
The distillery was then put up for auction and the successful bidder was Gaia Flow Distilling Co.
After selecting usable equipment in the Karuizawa distillery, repairing and refurbishing it, the third distiller was reborn as [Distiller K].
Its memorable first whisky is this “Prologue K” .


1. Manufacturer

Gaia Flow Distilling Co.

Established October 8, 2014
Head office location 555 Ochiai, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka 421-2223, Japan
Owned distilleryGaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery

2. Distillery

Gaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery

Location 555 Ochiai, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture 421-2223, Japan
Start of operation 2016

Established Gaia Flow Distilling, Inc. on October 8, 2014.
August 9, 2016, Gaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery was completed.
Production of whisky started on October 28 of the same year.
The distillery is located in the Tamagawa district of Okies (Oku-Shizuoka area) in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, and stands by the Abe Nakakochi River, a tributary of the first-class Abe River.
With an elevation of around 200 meters and surrounded by beautiful 400-meter mountains, the temperature is always two to three degrees lower than the city, making it a perfect location.
The building was designed based on the theme of a fusion of Japanese beauty and Western culture, and in collaboration with Derek Baston, an American architect living in Shizuoka, the interior and exterior are made of Shizuoka wood, making it a beautiful whisky distillery.

Image source: Gaia Flow Distilling Corporation

In addition to the aforementioned distiller K, there are many other things worth mentioning. The English malt mill inherited from the Karuizawa whisky Distillery is a vintage made by Porteous.
There is even a legend that the Porteous malt mills were so sturdy and unbreakable that the company went bankrupt due to lack of orders, and there are only three of them left in Japan: the Yamazaki, Hakushu and Shizuoka distilleries of Suntory.

Image source: Gaia Flow Distilling Corporation

The washback (fermentation tank) is made of Shizuoka cedar, which seems to add depth to the fermentation process.
The distillery also has the world’s first wood-fired distillation machine made by Forsythe, which is a very rare distillation machine that literally distills over an open fire.

For more information about Gaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery, please click here.


3. Product name and photo

single malt japanese whisky shizuoka prologue k

4. Characteristics

Made with over 50% Japanese barley malt and vatted with malted barley from the UK and Canada.
In addition to the delicate and delicate taste of Japanese barley malt, the British and Canadian pilsner malts help to bring out the rich sweetness that only Prologue K can offer.
In addition, the light peatiness of the English peated malt adds to the overall flavor.

4-1. Tasting Notes

NoseVanilla aroma characteristic of First Hill bourbon barrels, peppery spices, with a slight smokiness.
TasteSlight honey, aromatic spices, slightly smoky peat, slightly youthful alcohol.
AftertasteModerate sweetness, spice on the nose, peat on the finish.

4-2. Product Specifications

Product NameGaia Flow Single Malt Whisky Shizuoka Prologue K
Sake categorySingle malt whisky
Raw materialMalt
Barrel TypeFirst Hill Bourbon Barrel
Number of bottles soldLimited to 5,000 bottles
Number of Degrees55.5 percent
Price8,943 yen (tax included)
ManufacturerGaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery

5. Awards

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Product NameSingle Malt Japanese Whisky Shizuoka Prologue K
Suggested retail price8,130 yen (tax included: 8,943 yen)

6-2. Resale Price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around 46,000 yen to 76,000 yen. (*As of February 14 , 2021)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The winning bid price on Yahoo Auction is Lowest bidder: 24,800 yen, highest bidder: 45,500 yen, average bidder: 31,881 yen.

(*Statistics for the past 120 days since February 14 , 2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo! Shopping, and Amazon: Mail order sites sell for around 76,000 yen. (*As of June 1 , 2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR SHINKAI

At “BAR SHINKAI” , which is operated by our website, we offer even small amounts such as 1 glass, 45ml: 3,300 yen, 30ml: 2,200 yen, 15ml: 1,100 yen.


7. Summary

It is recommended for everyone from whisky beginners to experts, and can be drunk on the rocks or with soda.
The depth and maturity of this whisky in just three years is astonishing.
The combination of Mr. Nakamura’s diligence, who used to run a machine parts manufacturer, and his love for his hometown Shizuoka, has produced a bottle of supreme quality.
I can’t wait to try W, the world’s first wood-fired distillation machine.
I’ll be keeping a close eye on Gaia Flow Distilling in 2021.

Be sure to check out the rest of our articles on “Shizuoka” .




Lastly: Recommended Books on Japanese Whisky

If you want to learn more about Japanese whisky, which is a global trend, we highly recommend these books.

(1).Whisky Galore Vol.29 December 2021 issue

In the December 2021 issue of Whisky Galore, published by the Whisky Culture Research Institute, we report on 11 Japanese craft distilleries, including some that are open to the public for the first time, under the title of “Japanese Whisky Craft Frontline,” the first of three consecutive issues. Why did the popularity of Japanese whisky and the craft boom occur? We will examine with interviews. Chichibu Distillery / Chichibu No.2 Distillery / Mars Shinshu Distillery / Mars Tsunuki Distillery / Kanosuke Distillery / Hioki Distillery / Ontake Distillery / Osuzuyama Distillery / Kaikyo Distillery / Hanyu Distillery / Konosu Distillery

(2). Japanese Whisky as an Education for Business

This is a book written by Mamoru Tsuchiya, a world-famous whisky critic and representative of the Whisky Culture Research Institute, titled “Japanese Whisky as a Culture that Works for Business” .
The book covers the basics of whisky, the introduction of whisky to Japan, the birth of Japanese whisky, advertising strategies and the rise of Japanese whisky, and the current rise of craft distilleries. This is a book that summarizes Japanese whisky in a very easy to understand way.

(3). Whisky and I (Masataka Taketsuru)

Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky, devoted his life to brewing whisky in Japan. This is a revised and reprinted version of the autobiography of a man who simply loved whisky and talked about himself. The book vividly depicts the days when he went to Scotland alone to study as a young man and overcame many hardships to complete Japanese whisky, as well as his companion, Rita.

(4). A Letter of Challenge from a New Generation Distillery

Launching in 2019. With the world experiencing an unprecedented whisky boom, what were the managers of craft distilleries thinking and what were their thoughts as they took on the challenge of making whisky? This book tells the stories of 13 craft distillery owners, including Ichiro Hido of Venture Whisky, famous for his Ichirose Malt, who inspired the birth of craft distilleries in Japan.

(5). Whiskey Rising

This is the Japanese version of Whisky Risng, published in the US in 2016, with much updated content. Not only does it describe the history of Japanese whisky in detail, but it also includes data on all the distilleries in Japan, including the craft distilleries that have been founded in recent years. The book also includes descriptions of the legendary bottles that have been released, as well as information on bars where Japanese whisky can be found.

新海 博之

Born July 17, 1981 in Kitahiroshima City, Hokkaido, Japan
After graduating from university, joined NTT Data Customer Service Corporation as a new graduate.
2010: Opened "Azabujuban BAR Shinkai" → 2016: Developed specialty "Yakuzen Curry" → 2018: Opened "Toranomon BAR Shinkai" and in 2019 "Shibadaimon BAR Shinkai" → 2020: Started web media "Japanese Whisky Dictionary".
We will daily communicate the appeal of Japanese whiskey as something we, as bartenders, can do.

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Japanese Whisky Dictionary